Providing learning opportunities at the right time to the right employees and making sure they contain the right materials is not a new concept. Just recently through my involvement with the eLearning Network, I have been fortunate to be a mentor for a person over in the UK.
Mentoring is an intriguing and increasingly common approach to development, and exists informally in almost every organization. Some organizations capitalize on this principle, encourage the practice, and develop formal guidelines. My understanding is that a mentor is someone who helps other individuals with their career development. Specifically, mentors teach, guide, advise, counsel, and supervise, as well as serve as role models and typically the mentor is in the same department, division, plant, or location as the person being mentored.
Mentoring requires establishing a relationship with an experienced, influential professional, internal or external to the organization. For the relationship to be productive, there must be a good match between the mentor and the mentee.
From my experience, both must be willing participants in the process and an awareness of what constitutes good mentoring will allow many managers to utilize their daily interactions to develop employees. I hope I can help my mentee with his goals and requirements, so far it is going well.